I can't believe January is already over!
I picked up the Jan/Feb issue of an interesting magazine called Clean Eating. I wanted to add more healthy recipes to my cooking repertoire and tried a whole bunch from the magazine. I ended up cooking with a lot of things I never have before:turnips, rice milk, quinoa, leeks, even tofu. (Which my family still doesn't know I served them!)
Unfortunately, most of the recipes weren't well received by the family. I did learn ideas from cooking them to make small adjustments to our regular recipes to make them healthier. And the recipes for Squash and Chicken Casserole, Amazing Baked Apples and Apple Grilled Cheese were all yummy.
I'm not sure the family was very happy with my little experiment. Emily had to type up her new year's resolutions at school and wrote, "Eating healthier, because that is one of my mom's resolutions and she is dragging us all down with her."
As a consolation for being such good guinea pigs I decided one day to make them a from scratch turkey pot pie, complete with a traditional unhealthy homemade crust. I did make sure I put in plenty of vegetables, 5 to be exact. Two different family members walked in as I was prepping the veggies and asked, This isn't another new vegetarian recipe, is it?" I promised them it wasn't. Then, ironically, after putting the finished pie in the oven I realized I had forgotten to add the turkey to it. It was still good added after.
I did also try to add some other fun treats, such as making cinnamon rolls and bread pudding. Because I think that healthy eating doesn't require eliminating all special foods, just having them in moderation. I checked out Martha Stewart's Healthy Cookbook from the library and am planning on trying some of those next.
I set out with the goal of downsizing and organizing the whole house. Didn't happen. I did manage to get a lot of it more organized than it has been in a long time. My kitchen and pantry, the art cupboard, my desk area, my closet, under my bed, the whole nursery, the downstairs hall closet, the blanket closet, the video/camera equipment, the books and my sewing stuff all got addressed.
We put away the Christmas decorations and pulled out all the winter decor. Mostly a bunch of snowmen stuff. I got paper whites on clearance after Christmas and forced them into bloom. They are so pretty! The are often described as "fragrant", when actually they stink. Which is why I don't do them very often.
Maddy, Elsie and I cut out a bunch of snowflakes out of coffee filters. We leave the undecorated tree up through Maddy's birthday on the 4th of Jan. This year we covered it with the snowflakes and it looked so pretty we kept it up till my birthday on the 18th. Now the snowflakes are hanging in the windows.
We also started a new chore schedule. I decided I was tired of reassigning chores all the time and not knowing whose turn it is to do what. So, we started a monthly rotation. Each of the older children has a meal chore (such as clearing or washing dishes), a bathroom to maintain and a "zone" or area of the house to maintain. Then we rotate through them on a monthly basis. It seems to be working out well. I have seen a sense of ownership over areas and a pride in cleaning an area really well that I didn't when our cleaning was more randomly assigned. I just wish that having kid's do chores didn't require so much oversight and consistency on my part!
I created a sewing area so I no longer had to drag all my sewing stuff out from the basement. Everything I need to sew with is now very accessible. I love it! I started doing prep work on our Christmas stockings and making new pillows for the family room. I am using a new technique called thread sketching in them. I will have to post pictures when I am done.